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Old 04-23-2007, 08:14 AM    (permalink
D-Rod
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Default For those who have given up on Gandy...

I had kind of given up on him myself, but there is hope. Before I start, let me say that I would be very happy to see us pick Levi Brown, or even move up for Joe Thomas. But...

Wayne Gandy has been written off by everyone to whom I have spoken about the Falcons. Last year, he faded horribly in the second half of the season, and if that happens again, Vick will not get the opportunity to succeed.

However, the reason for that decline may not be as simple as everyone imagines. It is assumed that he is just too old to get it done. However, he was excellent in the first half of the season, with his performance culminating in excellent passing performances against the Steelers and Bengals. Is he just too old to sustain that performance over a whole season? Perhaps. But the recent comments of Forney shed a new light on the situation. If our O-line "guru" was forcing the whole O-line to basically starve themselves, then surely he was also doing that to Gandy, by far the heaviest guy on our O-line. If Forney, aged under-30, was complaining about feeling drained over the course of the season by the starvation, then how do you think Gandy would have been affected?

I'm not saying that his age was not also a factor, but I do think that he was hindered by the Gibbs regime. That fading performance through the season was EXACTLY what Forney blamed on Gibbs' weight demands. Maybe, just maybe, if Wayne Gandy is allowed a properly nutritious diet throughout the season, we will see a consistent performance at the same level as the first half of last season.

Even so, I would love to draft Brown, and Gandy's continued starting ability would allow us to give Brown what all tackles need: time to adjust before being thrown to the wolves. Jon Ogden, one of the greats, spent his first year at OG. Jammal Brown had a year at RT, before being moved to the more difficult left side.

If we draft Brown at #8, I would hope for Gandy to remain at LT, and Brown to slot in at LG. Occasionally, Brown could get some snaps at LT, with Fonoti at LG. That would also help Gandy to survive the whole year. Even if Gandy does fade at halfway, like last year, Brown should be ready to step in, with Gandy or Fonoti at LG. We could also draft an OG in the 4th to develop.

Gandy's continued starting ability would also allow us to draft an OT in the 2nd, like Tony Ugoh. Ugoh cannot start at LT right now, but definitely has the requisite athletic ability. He would be able to start at LG for 2007, a much easier position, while he improves his technique, ready to start at LT in 2008.

And don't forget about the dark horse, Omiyale. Everyone has also written him off. But remember, he was drafted as a project. NEVER was it expected that he would start in 2005 or 2006. He is neither ahead nor behind of schedule. This year is when he might be primed to emerge. Maybe he will, maybe he won't, but his absence over the past two years gives no indication whatsoever that he is not ready, it is what was expected.

Right, that's probably enough. Suffice to say that you cannot overestimate the importance of a good LT. Vick will never reach his full potential without one.
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Old 04-23-2007, 10:30 AM    (permalink
iloxygenil
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I read this over on AFMB and was like, yeah, for sure, this needs to be brought over here, but I'm glad it was you. This is a good thing and I think that it is possible that Gandy faded because of the having to keep his weight down thing. His body isn't prone to dropping weight, especially at his age, so it would take even more work for him than it would for some of the younger guys, who were complaining about it too. It should be interesting to see what our guys come up with. I don't think we can take the risk of just believing that he's going to hold up. It's too crucial of a position. We may not take Thomas or Brown, but we could look at Brandon Frye, who I think would be perfect here in this system and would be able to be a franchise LT who just hasn't gotten the hype.

Look at the Green Bay offensive Line, they built that thing around late round picks, until they got Colledge last year (who struggled mightily) I am really glad we ended up not taking the linemen we all wanted last year because we'd be stuck with ZBS guys. So I wouldn't be surprised to see a lot of mid round OL picks, like 3 or so to start the rebuild of the offensive line.

Gandy was great early on, until he just wore down too much, but I think we have to go ahead and get a new LT so we don't have to overpay next year in FA to land a big OT.
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Old 04-23-2007, 03:36 PM    (permalink
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I'm actually really glad to hear most of this, this allows us to pass on Brown and wait until the 2nd or 3rd to pick up a tackle, so we can fill bigger needs earlier... hopefully Gandy can make it through the year.
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